Push Past Your Limits – When and Why to Do It
Why do you need to push past your limits as a person? We all have our limits (think of them like fences). Some of these fences are real and some of them are imagined. There are times when it makes sense to push past what we perceive to be our limits so that we can grow. There are many different types of limits – physical, emotional, and mental to name a few.
To get outside your limits, you need to think about your comfort zone. Your comfort zone are the things that are so easy for you they have become second nature. That is your comfort zone – safe, comfortable, and familiar. This can also become boring, unmotivating and make you feel stuck.
What you think are your limits exist just outside your comfort zone to WAY outside your comfort zone. Limits can have all kinds of boundaries and can also be movable. What was once your limit can then become your new comfort zone. Make sense?
Why you want to push past your limits if you can
Most growth comes from being solidly outside your comfort zone. If it feels uncomfortable in some sense, you are probably outside of your comfort zone. When you are working out for the first time in a while and are starting to get a little out of breath, you are out of your comfort zone. And, whenever you are attempting something new for the first time, say a new outfit and you are worried what people will think, you are again outside your comfort zone.
Obviously, we wouldn’t get anywhere as individuals or a society if we didn’t step outside our comfort zone and push the limits on occasion. Pushing your limits can be a good thing and actually healthy (as long as you don’t over do it – no running marathons after not exercising for months, etc.).
Why you can probably push past your limits more than you think you can
We also have a tendency, especially as adults and women, to think we can do less than we can actually do. We will put aside the debate on where this idea comes (learned helplessness versus society telling us). Regardless, when it comes to learning something new, our first reaction is frequently “I can’t do that”. And, then a long list of reasons why you can’t do it.
Usually, those reasons are really just excuses. If it is time you are lacking, there are ways around that – trades of time you can make to have something become a reality. If it is money you are lacking, sometimes you just have to get creative with other ways it might be done.
When you want to go beyond your limits
You want to try and push past your “limits” when you feel outside your comfort zone but you know this is the next best step for you. Another example of when to try something new is when you feel stuck. And, you want to take that leap of faith when you know it makes sense but you just can’t see the whole road. Often, you just need to get going and the path will be there.
How you may feel when you attempt to extend your limits
Pushing past limits initially can be scary work. You may feel like you are in over your head, like you are crazy, or like people think you are stupid.
If you are pushing past mental or physical limits, don’t attempt these without first getting cleared by a doctor or therapist. But, I’ve seen former smoking, cheeseburger eating couch potatoes become first class athletes about to swim the English (freaking) Channel – true story – my husband. In other words, there is not much you cannot do if you put your mind to it!
If you feel ready to push past some of your own woman-made limits but are scared to try, start with baby steps. You don’t have to run a marathon, you can start with running down the block. Build up your confidence as you go and before you know it you will be beyond your fence and out into the world!
Related articles for getting out of your comfort zones and learning something new:
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Stephanie White says
Nice article. I try to remember I’m going to regret the things I did not try much more. If I’m not failing sometimes I’m probably not trying hard enough.